78 - "Impressed By a Homless Man"

Real love between a man and his dog.

Impressed By A Homeless Man

I used to see a homeless person with a dog and I would naturally feel sorry for the person but at the same time I would feel sorry the dog, probably more, because the person actually does have some control over his/her life where as the dog has to depend totally upon the person.

But after a specific incident I came to the conclusion that they are both lucky to have each other. There is nothing better, when you are alone, than a 4 legged companion. Without each other they would both be alone and lonely. I know for a fact that the companionship of a dog can make all the difference in the world, even between life and death. My dog Harley is the reason I am still alive today. But that’s another story.

I always do my laundry early in the morning, 6:00am, and when I arrived one Sunday morning there was a homeless person’s shopping cart with his worldly belongings sitting in front of the shop next to the Laundromat. He had it set up to block the cold as much as possible and he was laying on two thin blankets covered with another one to try and keep as warm as possible. Where he was situated was right outside of the window and I could actually see him shiver. As I stood there watching and wondering what could have possibly put him in that position I noticed a dog approaching the sleeping man. I really wasn’t sure what was going to happen, so I watched. To my surprise the dog walked up next to the man and took his position next to him laying as close as possible to the man. As the man put his arm around the dog I could see the glint of a smile show across his face. I am sure that not only did he welcome the warmth of his friend’s body, but it also had to be because of his close companionship that put the smile there.

As it approached 7:00am he lifted himself from the cold hard sidewalk, folding his flimsy blankets and loading everything into his shopping cart and prepared to politely move on before the other shops opened for business.

I watched as this man brought food out of his cart and fed and watered his best friend. After he made sure his buddy was satisfied, as well as possible, he then proceeded to dig something out for himself to eat and drink. As I watched them start on their way I stopped him and gave him some money. It wasn’t a lot but it was what I had in my pocket at the time.

I hope to come across the two of them again because I would like to have the opportunity to be a little nosey and ask him a few questions and let him know how he impressed me with the fact that he made sure his dog was taken care of first.

Greg


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Comments 58 comments

Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

TRuly an important story. And I can tell you that most treat each other just the same - a you first attitude. I sometimes ask my self after spending some time with these folks, if that attitude in this cruel "me first" world might have contributed to them being there at all.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

Nice story Greg. I can vouch for dogs being wonderful companions, I have four. But they are even more special as companions for the homeless and alone. They offer unconditional love, and respect which is more than most humans do. A homeless person with a loyal dog has more than a lot of unhappy rich people (who are often scared of losing what they have). Voted up.


gregas profile image

gregas 2 years ago from Corona, California. Author

Hi Jodah, I would rather lose everything else than my best friend Harley. And I feel that the homeless person with a companion will be in fear of losing that best friend as much, if not more, than a rich person having the fear of losing everything. Thank you for the visit and comment, Greg.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 2 years ago from Manhattan

Wonderful story. I had a dog once and he died unexpectedly..I was completely done in for 6 months. I still miss that dog. Someday I get another one.


gregas profile image

gregas 2 years ago from Corona, California. Author

Thank you Brie, I had to put one down in '03 and said I wasn't going to get anther one because it about killed me. Then when I retired in '09 I did get one and He is more of a companion than I could ever expect. Now I and working again and it does make it all worth while when he greets me at the door. I know how much he means to me which leaves me to imagine how much those two must mean to each other. Greg


mackyi profile image

mackyi 2 years ago from Philadelphia

This is so touching gregas, which reminds me of this gem " No man is on Island, no man stand alone..."


gregas profile image

gregas 2 years ago from Corona, California. Author

Hi Winston, thank you and that statement is true. Greg


Grey Temples 2 years ago

Thank you for helping him Gregas, and you are right in saying his dog is what is keeping him alive as that is his best friend. Wonderful story.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

Your story is proof that an aminal can be man's best friend. He had a good heart. I wish i had been there, i would love to share with him. Thank you for a heartfelt story.


gregas profile image

gregas 2 years ago from Corona, California. Author

Grey, it was my pleasure to share with someone in this world with that kind of heart. Greg


gregas profile image

gregas 2 years ago from Corona, California. Author

Ruby, it is a good feeling to see people that are even down on their luck can still love. Greg


kj force profile image

kj force 2 years ago from Florida

gregas..You can tell a lot about a person with the way he treats an animal, wouldn't it be nice if everyone treated each other the same way ?

Relationship with something in this world is a priority that gives us something to live for..need vs need...enjoyed the story..thanks for the share...


Amy Naylor profile image

Amy Naylor 2 years ago from England

Lovely story. I guess it's true that dog really is man's best friend. Beautifully told too. Thank you for sharing this with us.


gregas profile image

gregas 2 years ago from Corona, California. Author

KJ, thank you and yes it would be nice if people could treat each other as well as some treat their companions. Greg


gregas profile image

gregas 2 years ago from Corona, California. Author

Amy, thank you. I know I have one and he is my best friend. Greg


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 2 years ago

That is a very beautiful story, Greg. At least the man isn’t alone, and the dog is probably used to the outdoors. Dogs are great companions for the lonely whether or not they have a home. I wonder about some of the stories, too. I live just outside the city limits, and there is a wooded area with a hill sloping down to I-40. Homeless people quite frequently stay in those woods.

A few years ago, a man probably between 35 and 45 and his dog lived in those woods in a tent. It was a fairly nice camping tent. He must have had some kind of income (a pension, maybe) because he would bring his dog to the convenience store on the road at the exit to buy food. He kept moving the tent closer and closer until he placed it in a V-shaped area between I-40 and an access road. The police had ignored him until that move, but then they told him to move. I don’t know where he went after that. He may have moved on to another area. I have to agree with the police on that one, though because he was endangering both himself and his dog at that spot. I don’t know why he couldn’t see that. If he’d moved to the woods behind the store, he would have been closer and not attracted the attention of the law. I really kind of missed him. Voted you up and beautiful.


gregas profile image

gregas 2 years ago from Corona, California. Author

Miz, thank you and yes, sometimes you have a hard time telling the really down and out with the ones that can actually make ot on their own. Greg


Scott Upham profile image

Scott Upham 2 years ago from New York

What a beautiful story and a beautiful action on your part, Greg, to help the man and his dog. We sometimes get caught up in the morass of politics and other bad news, so this was truly refreshing. Thank you!


gregas profile image

gregas 2 years ago from Corona, California. Author

Scott, thank you. I feel it may have helped him some, but I know it helped me a whole lot. I just sometimes wish I could do more. Greg.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

Lovely story, it reminded me of my friend who had fallen on hard times, long story, she was sleeping on the streets and a dog turned up and adopted her! when she got back on her feet went home and moved house afterwards that dog stayed by her feet all the way, bless them!


gregas profile image

gregas 2 years ago from Corona, California. Author

Hi Nell, Thank you for the visit and comment. Especially in the hardest of times it does make it easier with a loyal friend, and what friend is more loyal than a dag, Greg.


favored profile image

favored 2 years ago from USA

I'm sad to say that I have seen this and my heart would always be touched by the love of a pet for its owner and vice versa. Sometimes I think it's the only thing keeping them going. God bless you for your kindness toward him.


gregas profile image

gregas 2 years ago from Corona, California. Author

Thank you Fay, I haven't been homeless, but I do know how the companionship/love of a man and his dog can be good for both. I feel I am alive today for the love of my best buddy a couple of years ago. That's an untold story so far. And welcome to the hubs Fay. Greg.


DealForALiving profile image

DealForALiving 2 years ago from Earth

This is actually very touching. I'm always worried that the pets aren't well taken care of, but in this case, clearly that's not what's going on.


gregas profile image

gregas 2 years ago from Corona, California. Author

Hi DFL, No, in this case that is what impressed me was the fact that he made sure his buddy was fed first. Greg.


Pawpawwrites profile image

Pawpawwrites 2 years ago from Kansas

They have each other, as bad as their situation is. Glad you gave them money.


gregas profile image

gregas 2 years ago from Corona, California. Author

Thank you Pawpaw, I am too. And I know for a fact it is important for both to have each other. Greg.


Dicole Elijah profile image

Dicole Elijah 2 years ago from Desoto, Texas

That was a short and sweet story that portrays the relationship of human nature. It also describes-what Abraham Maslow calls - Hierarchy of Needs. It is human nature to satisfy our needs first, even before our safety. Being homeless is a perfect example of satisfying our needs for food, water, and shelter over safety. Beautiful and heartfelt story.


gregas profile image

gregas 2 years ago from Corona, California. Author

Thank you Barlaine, It warmed my heart. I hope that as the cooler weather comes back so will they. Greg


Marie Gail profile image

Marie Gail 2 years ago from Olathe, KS

Voted up and "beautiful." Thanks for sharing this observation.


gregas profile image

gregas 2 years ago from Corona, California. Author

Hi Marie, thank you for the visit, the comment and the follow. Greg


miriamyentraccm profile image

miriamyentraccm 2 years ago from Montclair, CA. 91763

Hi, Greg! Thank you for writing this awesome article about a homeless man and his dog. It really touched me because one of my brothers recently died -- he was schizophrenic and living on the street for several years. He was only 60 when he died. Consequently, I feel very strongly for homeless people; they have it so rough. Thanks again!


gregas profile image

gregas 2 years ago from Corona, California. Author

Thank you Miriam. That really wasn't that far from where you live. It was in Brea. They do have it tough. Greg


old albion profile image

old albion 24 months ago from Lancashire. England.

Hi Greg. This is a lovely warm hub from you. It's five days to Christmas as I read it, this I think helps those feelings. Thanks for the news on John. I do hope he is on the mend. All the best to you for the Christmas and New Year.

Graham.


gregas profile image

gregas 24 months ago from Corona, California. Author

Thank you Graham and a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you. Greg


Dr Imhotep profile image

Dr Imhotep 22 months ago from Hammond, Indiana

That story is really beautiful and most of all it is important to have something in your life that motivates you to get up each morning.


gregas profile image

gregas 22 months ago from Corona, California. Author

I'm not homeless and my dog helps with that. There are some mornings that I would rather not het up. The responsibilities motivates one. Thank you for the comment. Greg


Aurora Dawns profile image

Aurora Dawns 22 months ago from USA

Very touching. I can say thank god for my baby. Pets, animals are sometimes better than people. Dogs, cats love us unconditionaly


momen rakan profile image

momen rakan 22 months ago from u,s,a

It's a wonderfularticles


nick071438 profile image

nick071438 22 months ago from City of Catbalogan, W, Samar, Philippines

Laurels for this piece gregas. It's really touching- man and dog getting close to one another for warmth. I'm exceedingly glad John had came back home alive. Old Albion above had said something about him. I'm sure he's the same John Keith Lender you were searching years back. Tell me all details how you find him. His sisters and mother, how are they? I'm writing currently at wikinut, here http://www.wikinut.com/author~vffnfi/n.c.radomes/


lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 22 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

Really well put observation. You didn't analyze the situation but let the actions speak for themselves. It was really.heartwarming and refreshing. Thank you for sharing


Romanian profile image

Romanian 22 months ago from Oradea, Romania

Stray dogs are very friendly with homeless men, because they can search in trash cans and give them something to eat. Nice article!


csmiravite-blogs profile image

csmiravite-blogs 19 months ago from Philippines

It is often said, that dogs are a man's best friend. Their devotion to their humans can go beyond one's definition of love. It is such a pity to still see homeless people around, with no one to love and care for them, except their pet dogs. I can empathize with this scenario, as my family treats our dogs like members of the family.


Jacque DArtichoke profile image

Jacque DArtichoke 18 months ago from San Francisco

Hi Greg, Thank you for sharing this sad, yet uplifting story. Homelesssness is a terrible social disease, from which none of us are completely immune. For lack of a better consolation, at least his dog treated him like a human. You did as well. Thank you for the story and your kindness.


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 18 months ago from Germany

I feel so touch by the beauty of this friendship between the man and the dog. God bless them. I hope they have somewhere to live by now. Thanks for this sad but wonderful touching story.


Kimberleyclarke profile image

Kimberleyclarke 15 months ago from England

A lovely snapshot, thank you for noticing and sharing this. Homeless people are just the same as the rest of us, though they are too easy to ignore.


Dana Tate profile image

Dana Tate 15 months ago from LOS ANGELES

This story sure put a smile on my face. Dogs are so smart and definitely a man's best friend. A touching story. Those two needed each other.


gregas profile image

gregas 15 months ago from Corona, California. Author

I have never seen them since so I sure hope something good came there way, for both of them.


Andy Lee Lawson profile image

Andy Lee Lawson 11 months ago from Knoxville, TN

I have worked with the homeless in Knoxville. Very few had pets. I am sure that a furry companion would make their tough lot a little more tolerable.


flakycrustedmemry 10 months ago

You can always tell if a person has a kind heart, by the way they treat an animal. This story is a nice reminder.


RandaHandler profile image

RandaHandler 10 months ago from USA

Very touching story and I love the picture of the dog! I find it so sad that no candidate in the elections, seems to really focus on the homeless problem! So sad!


adagio4639 profile image

adagio4639 9 months ago from Brattleboro Vermont

That was painful to read, but beautiful at the same time. I too often find myself feeling more concerned for the dog than his human. But dogs only know unconditional love. No matter what the conditions that dog will stay faithful to that poor man. And that dog is all that man has in the world that gives him comfort and he will put the needs of his friend before his own.


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 6 months ago from Tasmania

That story of yours, Greg, is standing the test of time, isn't it? Such deep emotions felt in all of us who have read it. Thank you and I hope your own life shines more brightly because of it.

Just a small observation: The antidote for loneliness is not usually another lonely person. That homeless man needed your help, coming from a person who truly empathized and was able to give unconditional love.


txthorn profile image

txthorn 5 months ago from Manhattan

Very real and true Greg. I was raised on a farm where we always took care of all our animals and such before we ate. Those were some early mornings but I still live by them today. If they do not eat neither do I. They are my responsibility. That unconditional love goes both ways. There is nothing greater. God is that way with us if you observe it. Those moments were you saw them speaks mountains of not what we get out of life but how we go through it. Thank you for your heart.

Wayne


HB Fig 2 months ago

Thank you for detailing your observation and kind interaction with this human being which has allowed me to connect to this moment.


Rafa Baxa profile image

Rafa Baxa 6 weeks ago

No matter what dogs are always a man's best friend. Truly a wonderful story.


Happymommy2520 profile image

Happymommy2520 9 days ago from East Coast

Great little story. I really enjoyed it. They are lucky to both have each other. There are resources out there for homeless people, sometimes the homeless don't know how to utilize them. Glad to hear to made a difference in somebody's day!


gregas profile image

gregas 9 days ago from Corona, California. Author

Thank you Happy.

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